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Textile Industry Opposes US Import Limits

The Chinese textile industry issued a statement on Thursday opposing the US government's acceptance of an industry appeal to limit imports of Chinese fabric products.

The Chinese Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile Products said in the statement that the US government has "trampled the principle of free trade" as well as the spirit of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing.

"The Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of the whole Chinese textile industry, expresses strong protest and firm opposition," it said.

The US Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, announced on November 18 that it had agreed to consider a request by a coalition of textile companies to limit imports of Category 301 combed cotton yarn from China. The committee will consider whether these imports "threaten the US with market disruption" as is alleged in the request.

If the committee believes the allegations to be true, it will request consultations with China.

Earlier in the month, the committee agreed to consider a request by a coalition of US textile and apparel companies and a union representing textile and apparel workers to limit imports of 222 other cotton and manmade-fiber apparel products from China.

"The Category 301 products are still restricted by the US import quota and hold too little market share to disrupt the US market," the China Chamber of Commerce statement said. "The existing restrictions on another 222 products have hurt the Chinese textile industry, the interests of US cotton growers, consumers, importers, fabric machinery makers and US investors in China as well."

The Chamber of Commerce urged the US government to stop activities that harm China-US ties and to abide by WTO rules. It said the restriction will neither substantially assist the US textile industry nor create more US jobs.

(Xinhua News Agency, China.org.cn November 26, 2004)

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